tv Early Start CNN February 14, 2013 5:00am-7:00am EST
breaking news. we're getting word of a deadly shooting involving international sports icon oscar pistorius and his model girlfriend. hiding in plain sight. new details on christopher dorner's last days including one couple's harrowing hostage ordeal. >> and desperation below decks. arguments over food break out as a crippled cruise ship slowly limbs towards shore. taking a dive. look at this. a boxer is in trouble for hitting the mat after the video clearly shows his opponent swung and missed. >> oh. >> you can't do that.
>> yikes. >> good morning, welcome to "early start," everyone, i'm john berman. >> nothing like video action to prove what really happened. >> i'm zoraida sambolin, thursday, february 14th. happy valentine's day. >> 5:00 a.m. in the east. i don't want to get people nervous here. this is cnn breaking news. we are starting with breaking news this morning. a sports world shocker. a shooting at the home of the blade runner, olympic and paralympic track superstar oscar pistorius. his girlfriend identified by the south african press agency as former fhm model, reeva steenkamp is dead. robin kurnow is following the story. what do we know right now? >> you know, it's all confused.
everybody is trying to put together pieces of this pudzle. the police are being tight lipped about naming the shooter, though local media is widely reporting that oscar pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend in the early hours of this morning though police say they cannot confirm him by name. they have a 26-year-old in custody, that a pistol was confiscated from his home and this man will appear in court in the next few hours here in south africa. the reasons for this still unclear. although it is being reported that oscar pistorius might have shot dead his girlfriend because he believed her to be an intruder into his house. south africa has a very high crime rate and many people barricade themselves, live in gated communities like oscar did. there's a lot of sense of edg edginess, jitteryness about the crime rate. another plausible explanation is that he tried to sneak into the house to surprise him for
valentine's day. that's another rumor. perhaps this is a domestic violence incident. still a lot of speculation. no real concrete assessment of what went wrong and what exactly happened. >> i know you're trying to get us the actual details here. what do we know about his girlfriend, reeva steenk. mp? . >> reporter: i was just on her twitter page and it's quite sad to read the twitter page of somebody who died just a few hours ago. on it she describes herself as a model, a law graduate and a child of god. what we do see through her twitter feed is that it appears she went to a promotional party last night for a car launch and a lot of people were excited. there's a picture of her up there. she's a very beautiful blond woman and she was also just recently in the celebrity pages of one of the sunday newspapers.
the couple were a bit of a celebrity couple here in south africa. we do know that. in terms of what happened, what transpired, it's tragic either way. one family has lost a sister, a daughter, of course, oscar pistorius, the big question now is the implications for his career. he was supposed to race in march. it's highly unlikely he'll be taking to the track by then. >> do we know if steenkamp and pistorius lived together? >> reporter: those details will be coming out, what kind of relationship they had, where she was, where he had been. i think the nature of this is all going to come out in court. we believe -- it's believed that oscar will appear in a magistrate's court within the next few hours. so hopefully more details will come out of that. >> robyn curnow, thank you very much.
live in johannesburg for us. new details in the manhunt for christopher dorner. it turns out dorner may have been hiding in plain sight in nearby resort condo for days, just a few steps from a police command post. the unit belonged to jim and karen reynolds. they say it was them, not their housekeepers, who were taken hostage and tied up. listen to them describe what it was like when they walked in and encountered dorner. >> he jumped out and hollered, stay calm and karen turned and ran and he came after her. he caught her about the door. >> on the staircase. >> on the staircase. he brought her back. >> he had the gun drawn the whole time. >> he had the gun drawn showing the whole time. >> did you know it was him? >> yes. yes. >> he talked to us, trying to calm us down, saying frequently
he would not kill us. >> he had plastic ties, great big tie wraps or something. he made us put you are our hands behind our back, tied our hands and made us walk back to the back bedroom back there. he had me lay on the floor, lay flat and cross my feet and he bound those with a -- >> the plastic. >> the plastic ties and he pulled the hands real tight so i couldn't move. cut my circulation off, started going numb immediately. did he her, had her lay down, did the same thing. >> did you think he was going to kill you then? >> not -- >> well, when he had me laying on the ground i really did. >> unbelievable to see their smiles after everything they've been through. >> absolutely. >> there must be so much relief that they survived and it's over. there are so many questions that remain this morning about the manhunt for dorner, why it took so long for authorities to track him down, how secure the area was where he was hiding and
whether the cabin he died in was intentionally set on fire. nick valencia is live from big bear lake this morning. you're outside the command post used by the san bernardino police department. give us a sense of how close dorner was to this place. >> reporter: uncomfortably close, eerily close. i want to give you a sense of how this command post was. it's not this cabin, john, that you're looking at in front of us with the two balconies. it's right behind that. that's less than 100 yards away. at the height of the manhunt here, there was 125 officers from throughout southern california canvassing this area, looking specifically for chris dorner. he could have been hiding under their noses. >> is it possible dorner specifically chose that cabin on purpose? >> reporter: you know, that's a good question and interesting
point. if you go back over that manifesto, he mentioned command posts, mentions them being target rich environments. it could be no mistake that he chose this condo complex and this cabin to set up shop. earlier in a press conference last night, the couple made some very eerie comments, unsettling comments saying dorner may have been watching them. take a listen. >> talked about how he could see jim working on the snow every day. >> he had been watching us, saw me shoveling the snow. that was friday. >> we never saw any indication that he was in there. >> and dorner tried to re-assure the couple that he was not going to kill them or harm them. he kept repeating over and over, john, that he just wanted to clear his name, just wanted to clear his name. >> the deputies, officials had been searching this area for days. have any given any explanation on how they missed him.
>> no. i think they need to. there's a lot of reporters wondering how they missed him. they were cagey about that when asked by reporters yesterday in that very same press conference, san bernardino sheriff's office still leaving many questions unanswered. take a listen to what they had to say. >> i can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since february 6th and as i said, there was an extensive search in that area of the cabins. >> for now the manhunt is seemingly over. but still a lot of questions to be answered. >> nick valencia, thank you for being with us this morning from big bear lake in california. a cnn exclusive, ariana williams will join us, the former girlfriend of christopher dorner. >> so this next story has everyone wondering whether this will mean more hidden fees, higher fares and just maybe more lousy treatment? this is new this morning, a mega merger between american airlines
and u.s. airways could be formally announced today. the boards of both companies met yesterday and reportedly finalized this deal. federal approval is still needed. the new airline would be the largest in the world with a market value of about $10 billion. talk about a monopoly. many analysts predict the merger will result in higher fares because of reduced competition. >> it's a huge business story but it will have an effect on the consumer. >> so did you feel that breeze? a boxer has been suspended for allegedly taking a dive 13 seconds -- 13 seconds -- into a fight against former nfl defensive end ray edwards. check this out. the phantom upper cut misses him by a foot. the guys sells it, literal knocking himself off his own feet. they say he was a last-minute replacement for a couple no-show boxers. north dakota fight governing
body are reviewing the bout. that's probably a good idea. >> doesn't take long to review that. pretty obvious. ten minutes past the hour. the end may be near for what some are calling the cruise from hell. >> will weather cooperate in getting these passengers back to a hot shower, more sanitary conditions and just safety? a live report from mobile, alabama, coming up.
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to suffer now? they're at the mercy of a few different factors now, including weather. we look at the current conditions in the ghx gx and our david mattingly is live in mobile, alabama, where family members are anxiously awaiting their loved ones arifle. we start with david in mobile. how far away do we think the triumph is right now? >> well, according to u.s. coast guard they're just 53 miles offshore from the city of mobile here. that doesn't sound like very far but it's going to take them all day to get from there to here. this dock behind me, where they're going to finally disembark and get after that boat and get back on dry land. for the people on board this ship, it's going to be the first time this morning that they've been able to see dry land, actually see land from that ship since they left port over a week ago. and when they arrive here, think about this, they are going to be five days overdue, over 500
miles offcourse and you can bet these people will be ready to get off of that boat. >> i think that's a safe bet. i can't believe it's taken so long. the conditions on that ship must be unbearable. how are passengers faring? >> reporter: we were hearing from stories. first of all we were hearing about the phone calls from passengers to their family members. that happened early in the week, around monday, after this happened. they were talking about the concerns they had after the fire erupted in the engine room, how scared they were. the ship started tilting to one side. they were worried about that. then they started complaining about the lack of food, the lack of electricity. the plumbing backing up. on tuesday, then we heard from the officials at carnival cruise lines. they said the conditions were improving. they had been able to establish electricity to part of the ship, restore some of the plumbing. also they were actually arranging for hot food. they had supplies delivered to the ship. there were signs that the conditions were improving but we
haven't heard from any of the passengers for a couple of days. we'll wait to see what they have to say when they arrive here and what sort of mood they might be in when they finally get on dry land. >> i predict happy but grumpy. david mattingly in mobile, alabama, thank you so much. >> it is good news they are getting back. >> needing a warm meal and a shower, perhaps. is the weather in had the gulf of mexico cooperating? they were worried about the winds. >> today is a much better story. i want to show you on the google map here. they're about 53 miles south of mobile, bax bax. they'll have to navigate through this 30-mile long narrow canal. that will be the story for today. the wind is the biggest factor. yesterday they were dealing with heavy rains and wind as this cold front was in the way. they're behind the cold front now. that's the good news today. they'll be dealing with calm
winds, currently 8 mile-per-hour winds out there. today, clear skies. they won't be dealing with the rain. they can enjoy the fresh air on the deck instead of getting rained on. winds about 4 miles per hour at the time they are expected to dock later today. later on "early start" we'll be talking to brent nutt. his sister and brother-in-law are on that horrific cruise. >> those poor people. there's a lot going on right now. we want to bring you up to speed on all the top stories. christine romans here with that. a shocking story involving the blade runner, olympic and paralympic track superstar, oscar pistorius. the south african news agency says his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp was shot and killed in
his home in south africa. reportedly she was mistaken for an intruder. police are declining to name a 26-year-old man they have under arrest. police only saying he will appear in court today. pistorius is 26 years old. he's a double amputee, reached the 400 meter semifinals in the london games last year. he races with carbon blades because of a birth defect. first calorie counts on menus, then transfats, then the mega soft drinks. now new york mayor michael bloomberg is out to ban styrofoam food packaging. he's also set to announce a major reform in recycling. how do you top winning best in show? apparently by hitting broadway. t banana joe, the affenpinscher joined to the stage last night.
we will speak of the co-host of the westminster dog show with banana joe later on "starting point." he's a top dog at westminster. newly minted broadway star. do you know they train all year long on treadmills, pay more for dog vitamins than human vitamins. the amount of money is unbelievable. >> you have to go backstage at the dog show. it's primping and powders, blow dryers. >> his coat is beautiful and shiny. >> coming up, word of a major airline merger. the dog will be flying first class in that merger. what the union of american and u.s. airways will mean for you.
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learning officially about this today. it is american airlines and u.s. airways. american airlines is in bankruptcy and there's been talk for some time that these two airlines are trying to pair up in the bankruptcy process and come out as one big airline on the other side. this is what the hubs would look like for u.s. airways and american. this new airline would get a bunch of new area, new zone on the east coast. what does it mean for flyers? better connections, possibly short-term reservation glitches like lost luggage, more reservation problems. we saw that happen with continental/united. experts are saying they do not think this will mean higher fares at the again. look for more trying to merge the frequent flyer plans and paperwork thing like that. let me show you the big four carriers that would carry 83% of all the passengers.
this new american would be the largest. we had ten carriers in 2001. they are four today. mark murphy, a travel expert told us why american needs to do this. listen. >> airlines can't keep operating at a loss. i mean, american airlines has lost billions of dollars. that's not a sustainable business model. unless they get together, tap into other roots and profitable markets, i think you'll find it a challenge to make money in the airline industry. >> and let's be clear, american airlines was losing -- american airlines was in bankruptcy. this is something that is going to -- has to be approved by the bankruptcy judge, aof prod by regulators, of course, who say it's not going to be a monopolistic, it won't hurt consumers. airline ticket prices since the 1980s, adjusted for inflation, your fares have been -- >> what? >> fares have been going down, adjusted for inflation. the biggest expense on their
expense report was their plane ticket. today it's a hotel room or something elle. if the economy isn't going gang busters this year, experts are telling us they don't think the fares can rise much more than here. >> i'm surprised to see that. thank you for sharing. >> you're welcome. >> i would have thought its would going way up. >> coming up, the latest on the deadly shooting at the home of south african olympian oscar pistorius. >> finally, some light at the end of the tunnel for passengers on that carnival cruise ship, limping back to an alabama port. we'll have an update on the ship's progress, coming up next. with so much competition, finding the right job is never easy. but with the nation's largest alumni network, including those in key hiring positions, university of phoenix can help connect you to a world of opportunity.
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girlfriend of international sports star, oscar pistorius dead after a shooting at his home. bound and gagged, a couple taken hostage by a fugitive in his fine apral hours on the run. they are tell their story this morning. and counting the minutes. smelly, steamy conditions on deck with the end of the ordeal hopefully hours away. >> it just sounds awful. >> i thought this was not a big deal, it's going to be okay. but as we get the details, absolutely horrific. welcome back to "early start," glad you're with us this morning. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. 31 minutes after the hour right now. we want to update i don't you on a breaking news story, a shocking story involving the blade runner, olympic and paralympic star oser it pistorius. his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp,
shot and killed in his home. the police have arrested a 26-year-old man. it's important to know that oser it pistorius is 26. he races with carbon composite blades because he was born with a birth defect, born without fibulas. he reached the 400 semifinals in the london games this past year. i spent the day with him a few years ago. he had to overcome so many to get to this point. this is a horrible tragedy for families y s iin south africa. >> he is widely admired. the nightmare, carnival cruise that's been floating lifeless in the gulf of mexico. has 4,200 people on board. it's slowly chugging its way into a alabama port thanks to the help of four tugboats. passengers describe conditions on board as frankly disgusting. saying the walls are smeared with sewage, the carpets are soaked with urine and the stench is so bad that people are
sleeping out on the decks. so just how much longer will this ordeal last? david mattingly is live in mobile, alabama. how far away is the "triumph" right now? >> reporter: they're about 50 miles away from mobile. that doesn't sound very far but today for the people waiting for that ship to get here, it's going to feel like a lifetime. they're looking about 10 to 12 hours before they reach this facility here behind me where they will finally disembark, go to buses and go to though tells or back to their cars for the drive home. there's actually family members gathering in mobile, not waiting for these families to come to them. they'll be here to pick them up as soon as they get off the boat. listen. >> when the boat pulls up, i don't have to see my daughter step off the boat. i'm going to be running to my daughter on that boat if i can. as soon as i can see her on the pier, i'm going to be hollering for her, screaming.
i mean, i don't know. i played it over in my head, over and over and over. i just want to grab her up, snatch her up and carry her home. >> those two mothers you saw there on camera, they actually drove here from texas. they brought all sorts of food with them for their two young daughters age 10 and 12. they got a very frightened phone call from them earlier in the week and haven't heard from them since. needless to say, they are very anxious to see the young girls step off the boat. >> the mom of the 10-year-old said she was worried she'd never see her daughter again. it was incredibly frightening. the big question here is how is carnival going to handle the logistics of getting everybody home? >> the passengers will have a couple of options when they get off of that boat. there will be buses waiting for them. those buses will take them to a hotel. rooms have been set aside if passengers want to get a hot
shower, get some hot food before they go on home. there have been charter flights as well. they can go back to galveston where their cars are parked. they'll have those choices available to them. a lot of these people haven't had any access to any hot water or good sleeping conditions for the past few days. you might see some of the people going to hotels before they go on home. >> yes, i suspect i would probably choose to do that as well. another big question here, how this will affect the bottom dollar for carnival cruise lines and future cruises as well. >> well, we can tell you what's going to happen to that particular ship. they've canceled the next 12 cruises that that ship had scheduled. so there's not going to be any passengers going back on board that boat, at least until some time later in april. so all of those cruises are a
complete loss and we're finding out yesterday that carnival has sort of sweetened the deal for the passengers on board the ship right now. they're actually going to give them all $500 in addition to refunding the cost of this cruise and then providing them a credit for another cruise that they might want to take in the future. >> i wonder if that's enough? david mattingly, live in mobile, alabama. we appreciate you being there. i knee evenaively said, carniva take care of them. >> if they're offering 500 bucks now, it shows they're nervous of the repercussions legal and businesswise down the line. >> absolutely. those who came face to face with dorner in the hours before he apparently died. he may have been just steps from a police outpost. the unit belonged to karen and jim own reyno -- reynolds.
>> when he jumped out and hollered stayed calm, karen screamed and started running. he ran after her. >> it sounds like he tried to calm you down. >> he did. >> you could see that big gun sticking up there. >> yes. yes. he had his gun drawn the whole time. >> i still can't believe their smiles. they seem so relaxed. >> such a sweet couple. >> i'm so happy for them. rick heltebrake describes being car jacked by the rogue ex-cop. >> i felt in danger knowing what his history was and that i had a gun pointed at my head. however, he said he didn't want to hurt him and i believed him. and he wanted me to get out of my truck and walk up the road with my dog and that's what i did. >> it's almost certain dorner died in a burning cabin on tuesday during a shootout with
police. it could be days before the charred human remains are positively identified. at 8:30 eastern on "starting point" we'll talk about dorner and the many lingering questions about the police investigation. we'll be joined by former los angeles police chief, bill bratton. the illinois senate is expected to vote today on valentine's day on a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in this state. that measure is expected to pass and democratic governor pat quinn has indicated he will sign it. if approved, illinois will be the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage along with the district of columbia. chuck hagel's nomination as defense secretary is facing a potential republican filibuster which prompted harry reid to force a vote tomorrow to end the debate over whether to confirm hagel. rand paul telling cnn they need to hold democrats to a higher standard here.
>> if they're got -- >> hagel's nomination made it out of the armed services committee on a party line vote. general john allen may withdraw his nomination to become the supreme allied commander of nato. in fact, a staff member's written statement indicates he is considering taking a brake to reunite with his family, maybe even possibly retire. general allen spent 1 months directing nato forces against taliban insurgents. last year embarrassing e-mails with jill kelly came to light during cia director's sex scandal. there was emphasis on the staging. students here are actually on winter break this week. the principal e-mailed parents offering a one-day experience mimicking a normal school day to
coincide with the president's visit. >> if you're in preschool i bet you don't mind seeing the president. it's not a hardship to spend a day with the president. >> i bet not. his hostage ordeal is over but the lingering effects are certainly not over. coming up, we'll hear from the little boy held for days in a bunker in alabama. little ethan and his mom. [ female announcer ] switch to swiffer 360 dusters extender,
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you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. this is cnn breaking news. we have an update on the shocking story we've been reporting this morning. a shooting at the home of olympic and paralympic star oscar pistorius of south africa. he's the runner without fibulas, without legs who runs on the carbon composite blades. his girlfriend, 30-year-old reeva steenkamp shot and killed at his home in south africa. oscar pistorius as of now is at
at police station in south africa, a press conference has just concluded there. a man has been arrested in connection with this murder. a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder. we don't yet have confirmation that it is pistorius but, again, officials say a 26-year-old man has been charged with murder. it is important to know oscar pistorius himself is 26. and we know right now he is at the police station. we are also told by police at this press conference in south africa that in the past there have been reports of incidents at pistorius' house of a domestic nature. those are the words they used there. right now oscar pistorius, an international figure in the sports world, known as something of a hero for running in the paralympics and olympic games. he was a big hit in london over the summer. as of now, in a police station in south africa. his girlfriend shot and dead overnight. a man of pistorius' age charged
with murder. we'll bring you more details as they come in this morning. >> that is absolutely shocking, john. look at these pictures of a smiling and playful and very brave little boy. this is ethan, the 6-year-old alabama boy who was abducted and held for six days in an underground bunker. he and his mother spend time with governor robert bentley yesterday. they also spoke with dr. phil in a show that aired yesterday. ethan's mother told him despite the smiling photos that her son is acutely aware of what happened to his abductor and the bus driver who tried to protect him. here's erin burnett. >> give me five. i like it. >> reporter: nine days after ethan was freed from an underground bunker in alabama, the world is getting abrave glimpse of this 6-year-old. his mother tells dr. phil the recovery has been difficult. >> he's having a very hard time sleeping soundly.
he slings his arms and tosses and turns and he's cried out a few times. >> reporter: in a story that captivated the nation, ethan was kidnapped at gun point from a school bus last month, his ab dublgt -- abductor, jimmy lee dykes. kirkland says dykes took surprisingly good care of his son. >> when he found out ethan was autistic and took medication, i believe that's why he started caring and letting ethan have the things that he was letting him have. >> reporter: authorities say dykes fed the boy, gave him toys and even allowed him to take medicine for his autism. kirkland told dr. phil, waiting for ethan's return was the hardest thing she's ever been through. >> i wanted to be there.
there's not one second of this whole thing that i wouldn't have begged that man to let me have ethan. i would have turned around and given him to my family and i would have took his place at any moment, any second, had i been allowed to. >> reporter: for almost a week, police and fbi officials tried to convince dykes to let ethan go free. they ended up storming the bunker in a daring rescue on february 24th. >> we were told that he stopped negotiating and that had he grown agitated and it was time to get ethan out of there. >> what did they do. >> i understand a hostage team went in. they put explosives on the top of the doors and they blew the doors off and knocked him offguard with that. they went in and covered ethan with a vest and they shot mr. dykes. >> did he see mr. dykes shot and killed? >> he absolutely did. he had seen the army came in and
shot the bad man. >> ethan who played quietly with his toys as his mother spoke to dr. phil says little about what happened in those harrowing days. when dr. phil asked him how he gets to school, here's what he whispered to his mother. >> my bus driver is dead. >> kirkland says she's already forgiven dykes and is ready to move on, devoting all of her attention to protecting ethan. >> how are you coping with all of this? >> i'm not sure yet. i've been so busy trying to make sure he's okay first. i mean, i'm basing it on how he's doing. if he's doing okay today, then i'm fine. >> oh, man, when he whispered mommy, my bus driver is dead. >> absolutely heartbreaking. coming up on "starting point" we talk to psychiatrist dr. charles sophy about ethan's behavior and how a child can
deal with this type of drama. listen up all you little monsters, lady gaga down for the count, at least for a little while. >> i was wondering where you were going with the little monsters. >> you know the lady gaga thing. little monsters i'm told. because i know so much about lady gaga. the latest on her injury, coming up. >> it's good to laugh. doctors nine outn to help reduce the risk of heart disease. post shredded wheat is made with only one ingredient: one hundred percent whole grain wheat, with no added sugar or salt. try adding fruit for more health benefits and more taste in your bowl. it's the ideal way to start your heart healthy day. try post shredded wheat. this has been medifacts for post shredded wheat.
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welcome back to "early start," everyone. three men in newark, new jersey now charged in a vicious taped beating. i have to warn you here, some of these images are quite disturbing. the alleged suspects forced the victim to strip naked, spraying him with water and whipping him with a belt dozens of times. this all happened last summer. the video went viral after it surfaced recently on youtube in this brutal crime has a lot of people outraged. newark's mayor among them.
>> this is not who we are. we are newark, new jersey. we do not tolerate this level of cruelty, of callous disregard for the dignity of humety. we do not tolerate this viciousness. we do not tolerate this kind of evil in our community. >> newark police say all three suspects have gang affiliations. the feds shutting down a cross-border drug smuggling tunnel in arizona. authorities seized 1,200 pounds of marijuana in the process of doing that. they say the hand-dug tunnel 68 feet long and 2 feet wide was just finished yesterday. little monsters and music fans listen up. lady gaga has canceled the rest of her born this way tour. the tour operator says the singer has a torn hip caused by
strenuous repetitive movements. she's going to need surgery, followed by really strict down time. live nation says fans can get refunds for the canceled shows where they bought their tickets starting today. >> i thought yesterday we reported it was a medical condition she had? >> if it's in the hip it's a joint thing, an inflammation that gets worse and worse and worse and she needs surgery there. >> all right. that's a lot of gyrating going on. 54 minutes past the hour. smash, smash, smash, hit! the homeless hatchet wielding hippie who became a youtube star. he has a new song for you. ♪ [ male announcer ] when we built the cadillac ats from the ground up to be the world's best sport sedan... ♪ ...people noticed. ♪ the all-new cadillac ats -- 2013 north american car of the year. ♪
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57 minutes past hour. welcome back to "early start." we are taking a look at cnn trends this morning. this is a doozy. remember the hatchet wielding hitchhiker of youtube fame? he went viral with his description of how he stopped a racial attack. >> so [ bleep ] ran up behind with a hatchet, smash, smash, smash! >> so that was the blunt end of the hatchet he was talking about anyway. now he has other talents. when he's not wielding a hatchet he's apparently strumming a guitar. take a look. ♪ ♪ >> you know when you get your 15 minutes, you stretch it, stretch it. >> no doubt. >> stretch it. >> this would qualify. >> our congratulations to the newest musician on youtube there.
for other trends, head to cnn.com/trends. cnn "early start" continues right now. breaking news this morning. a deadly shooting involving international sports icon oscar pistorius and his model girlfriend. . leading in plain sight, new details on christopher dorner's last days. and a desperation below deck. above, too. arguments over food break out as a crippled cruise ship slowly limps towards shore. come over to your tv. take a look at this. taking a dive. a boxer's in trouble for hitting the mat after the video clearly shows his opponent swung and missed. crazy. good morning. welcome to "early start." happy you're with us this morning, i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. thursday, february 14th. happy valentine's day. >> happy valentine's day to you. 6:00 a.m. in the east. this is cnn breaking news.
>> we have lots of brand new information this hour on our breaking news story this morning. a shooting at an olympic hero's home. we're talking about runner, track superstar oscar pistorius. he is at a police station in south africa right now after his model girlfriend was shot and killed at his home. police are saying a 26-year-old man has been arrested. they're not confirming that it is pistorius, although very important to note that pistorius is 26. we're also finding out about previous incidents at his home. a police presser just wrapped up there. what's the latest on the investigation? >> reporter: well, john, on the whereabouts of oscar pistorius, we were outside the police station where he was taken this morning and he left there in a convoy of police cars. he actually had a hoodie on and
he actually bowed down in the car so that people couldn't get shots of him. he was taken away from that police station and we understand that he was taken to a medical facility not very far from there where a full examination is being done. blood tests and a physical examination. so there's a lot of mystery. very little information that we know about this incident, especially when it comes to oscar pistorius because the police refuse to confirm that the 26-year-old that they arrested is oscar pistorius. at this point in time they are saying that the incident happened at oscar pistorius' home but they say that the 26-year-old that they arrested, is name will only be revealed when he appears in court and we understand that he will appear in an hour's time. >> one of the other interesting things we have heard from this police press conference is that there are previous allegations of a domestic nature at the
pistorius home. do we know anything more about this? >> reporter: very, very disturbing. and again the police are very cagey about details. they say that they have witnesses actually to this incident. when i asked the officer are these people who saw what happened or people that heard. he said people heard shouting and of course the gunshots and there had been previous cases of a domestic violence nature that have been reported from oscar pistorius' home. over the years there have been rumors and there have been reports about fighting over girl friends and possible abuse of some girlfriends, you know, things that really never went to court and there was never any conviction. so it will be very interesting to hear exactly what more
details the police will release to the court because they will have to release details if they don't want the suspect to be let go or granted bail. we are hoping that more details will emerge when we go to court in less than an hour's time. but very, very disturbing reports essentially because oscar is a hero here in south africa. people admire him greatly for the achievements that he's been able to make and he's always flying proudly the south africa flag so people here are very devastated. but as you can imagine, south africa has high levels of crime so immediately people thought, look, oscar pistorius could have mistook the victim for an intruder, it wouldn't be the first time somebody has shot a loved one because they thought that there was an intruder or a burglar because this happens all the time in south africa in the communities. so many, many questions to be answered and we're hoping to
answer those questions after the court appearance. >> so many questions still surrounding the death of the girlfriend of oscar pistorius, international sports icon. we are awaiting more details, expecting them within the next hour. we will bring them to you as soon as we get them. >> absolutely shocking. >> terrible. >> absolutely. four minutes past the hour, very close encounter with a fugitive killer. new information this morning about the manhunt for christopher dorner. the rogue ex-cop who apparently died in a burning cabin in big bear after a nine-day reign of terror. it turns out dorner may have been hiding in plain sight in a nearby resort condo for days, just a few steps from a police command post that was set up to catch him. the condo belonged to jim and karen reynolds. they say it was them, not their housekeepers who were taken hostage and tied up. listen to the couple describe what it was like when they walked into the unit and first saw dorner.
>> when he jumped out and hollered stay calm, karen screamed, turns around started running. he ran after her. he caught her about the door. >> on the staircase. >> and brought her back. he had his gun drawn the whole time. >> he had the gun drawn. >> did you know it was him? >> yes. >> oh, yes. >> as soon as i saw him. >> he talked to us, trying to calm us down and saying very frequently he would not kill us. >> he had some plastic ties and made us put our hands behind our back and tied our hands and made us get up and walk into the back bedroom. first he had us lay on the bed and cross our feet. then he changed his mind and had me lay on the floor and he bound my feet with the plastic ties. he did her, had her lay down, did the same thing. >> did you think he was going to kill you then?
>> when he had me laying on the ground, yes, i really did. i thought he's changed his mind, he was just trying to calm us down, get us in here and he's going to do it. >> remarkable that she can smile through that. a lot of lingering questions about the policeman hunt for dorner. why it took so long for authorities to track him down and how well they really secured the area where he was hiding and whether the cabin he apparently died in was intentionally set on fire as well. nick valencia live from big bear lake this morning. nick, you are right outside the compound post that was used by the san bernardino sheriff's department. so give us the sense of how dorner was supposedly hiding. >> very close, unsettling close. it was eerily close. i can't exaggerate -- or emphasize it enough. if you take a look at it, zoraida, it's less than 100 yards away from where we're standing. it's not that first cabin there in the front but rather the one right behind there. i took a walk back up there.
dorner knew exactly what he was doing. that cabin kisses the woods right behind the condo complex there and it's all the more unsettling when you consider the manpower and resources used by officers throughout southern california. at one point there was more than 125 officers looking for christopher dorner. they couldn't find him and he was right under their nose. >> almost like he was watching them. deputies had been searching that area for days. have officials given any explanation as to how they missed him or why? >> zoraida, you talked about those lingering questions. i think the most blatant lingering question is how they could have missed him, considering the resources used. yesterday when the san bernardino sheriff's department was questioned by the media, they were very cagey and sort of dodged the questions. take a listen what they had to say. >> i can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since february 6th. as i said, there was an extensive search in that area of the cabins.
>> reporter: an extensive search, but still we're wondering how they could have missed him. >> really crazy. nick valencia, i'm sure we'll find out more. live in california for us. at 7:15 eastern we have a cnn exclusive. arianna williams is going to join us live. she is the former girlfriend of christopher dorner. the carnival cruise from hell is expected to arrive at a port today and that couldn't come too soon for those 4,000 plus people who have been stuck with hideous conditions since an engine fire left the ship adrift. passengers are just desperate to reach land. but how much longer now will they have to suffer? they are at the mercy of a few different factors, one of them being weather. so inc. david mattingly is live
mobile, alabama, where family members are waiting their loved ones arrival. how far away is the triumph right now? >> reporter: well, by miles, probably less than 50 miles away from mobile right now. but think about this. this cruise ship was supposed to get to galveston, texas, last sunday. they're going to be arriving here in mobile five days overdue, 500 miles off course. after enduring the conditions you're talking about, we're going to see passengers very anxious to get off of that ship. this facility here was constructed just to handle cruise ships so they're expecting to process them off that boat pretty quickly, but it's going to be a very slow trip from where they are right now to get to where they need to be here behind me later today. that's going to take probably 12 hours. they're not expected to get here until late this afternoon. >> and those conditions, they
must just be unbearable. any late word on how passengers are faring right now? >> reporter: well, yesterday there was a big flurry of activity. helicopters delivering new provisions to the ship, also delivering a generator to generate more power on board that ship. cruise officials told us on tuesday they were able to re-establish electricity in some limited fashion to parts of the ship. they were able to restore the plumbing in some parts of that ship. that was early in the week. that was a couple of days ago. now with these new supplies, this new generator, the conditions we are expecting will probably be even more improved by the time the customers arrive here. >> so this cruise started in texas. so how is carnival handling the logistics of getting everyone home? >> reporter: well, once they get here, this is when things will start moving pretty quickly for these customers, these 3100 people who paid to be on this ship. they are going to have a couple
of options. once they get off the ship, there will be buses waiting. they can go to a hotel room where they can finally get a hot shower for the first time in days, a hot meal, maybe even sleep there for a while and then they're going to have charter flights available to them to take them back to texas where this cruise began so then they can go home. or they have the option to just take that bus all the way back to galveston if they park their car there so they can take their car and then drive straight home. you can imagine there might be some people anxious to get that. some people equally anxious to get to that hot shower. so we'll hear from a lot of people as they're getting off that boat today. >> people who no doubt will be so happy just to be on land. david mattingly in mobile, alabama, thanks very much. let's go to indra petersons with a look at the weather in the gulf of mexico. could there be anything that would hold that ship back? there's a channel that they have to travel through as well. >> yeah. yesterday there was concern for some strong winds. better news today. currently the triumph is about
50 miles south of mobile, alabama, but this is the canal they have to get to. it's very narrow and about 30 miles long. yesterday they had a good 20-mile-per-hour wind so the concern was it could shift easily from right to left as it had to go through that narrow channel. the good news today, they're not fighting those winds. they're going to ad two additional tug boats to help protect them. yesterday they were dealing with a cold front so 25-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rain, you can see they are now behind that so that's the good news. that concern is no longer there. in fact they'll have fair conditions out there. the sun should actually come out and the winds, the most important factor, should be calm. about 10, 15 miles in the morning but you can tell by 8:00 a.m. 6 miles per hour and today at 4:00 p.m. pretty much calm conditions. so that's the good news there. >> indra petersons, thanks very much. coming up later we'll be talking to brent nutt. his wife and sister-in-law are on that cruise.
he'll tell us how they're describing this horrific ordeal. that is at 6:30 eastern. >> i think you're getting some valentine's texts while we're on tv here. >> did you hear that? i apologize, folks. first it was posting calories in restaurants, then a soda ban. >> now a new target for new york mayor michael bloomberg. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. yes, you could. new griddle-melts to yourime usual breakfast sandwich. a lot more flavor. [ anouncer ] ihop's new griddle melts... made fresh and hot! hand crafted just for you. it's like a sexy sandwich. [ anouncer ] compare new griddle melts yourself.
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welcome back. 15 minutes past the hour. we are following breaking news this morning. it is a shocking story involving the blade runner, olympic and paralympic track superstar oscar pistorius. he is at the police station in south africa right now after his model girlfriend was shot and killed inside his home. police are saying a 26-year-old man has been arrested. they are not confirming that it is pistorius, although it is important to note that pistorius is 26 years old. we are also finding out about previous incidents at his home of a domestic nature. pistorius, who is a double amputee, reached the 400 meter semifinals in the london games last year. he races with carbon blades because of a birth defect. to new york now where first it was calorie counts on menus,
then transfats, then mega soft drinks. now mayor michael bloomberg is out to ban styrofoam food packaging, it's plastic foam, he's looking to ban that in stores and food restaurants. he will unveil the plan today in his final state of the city speech. and boy, did you feel that breeze? look at this. a boxer has suspended for allegedly taking a dive 13 seconds into a fight against former nfl defensive end ray edwards. look at this, the phantom upper cut misses his much smaller opponent by about a foot. but he sells it, literally knocking himself off his own feet. >> that is insane, i'm sorry. it is nowhere near him. >> i know. but it looked right. so if you're far away. turbo tax was a last-minute replacement for a couple of no-show boxers. north dakota's fight governing body is reviewing that right
there. everyone waking up to a huge business story, a massive deal in the airline industry. u.s. airways and bankrupt american airlines have agreed to a merger. >> but what does it mean for you, the flier? christine romans has details. >> because it's all about us in the end, isn't it? the goal is a more efficient, more profitable airline, but that's going to take some time. airline mergers generally take a few years, so for now get ready for some logistical headaches. one analyst says the bigger the merger, the more problems there are. there could be some reservation problems initially. we can look at one of the most recent mergers for a clue. united and continental. in january, 2012, the first month the government combined data, customer complaints shot up 198%. most of the complaints are about flight problems, cancellations, delays and reservations and ticketing problems. these two airlines also have to combine their frequent flier programs. they'll have to woo back business travelers that american lost with all of those cancelled
flights this fall because of a pilot sickout. here's travel expert mark murphy on some of the benefits of the deal. >> this merger will provide the traveler with better connections. i think you're going to be in nine major hubs between the two carriers now with the merger. so you're going to be able to get where you want to go more efficiently and effectively. >> so those nine major hubs are all over the country giving people a lot of access. look at where they are. not a lot of overlap. really the only overlap in chicago and phoenix. many travel experts are telling us that ticket prices probably won't go up. we should also point out that sources close to the boards have told us that the boards have agreed there's a lot of work to do here. an announcement today likely and then we'll wait to see what the bankruptcy judge says and what federal regulators say about this big, big deal. >> usually changes need to be made before it's finalized but they manage to push it through. >> john pointed out perhaps they could double our miles. >> no details on your frequent
flier plan but i will find out as soon as this deal is official. >> thank you. 19 minutes past the hour. coming up, lots of folks watching the news of that carnival cruise ship limping back to port today. christine romans is coming back to tell us what you need to know if you are holding tickets for a cruise.
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had a pretty good year. but today wall street is taking a break. futures are lower. >> and one stock on the move is carnival. after the engine fire on the triumph, the cruise line is warning investors it will take a financial hit. yeah. christine romans here. >> it will take a financial hit. carnival says this disaster will hurt its bottom line. the shares tumbled 4% yesterday in response. i'm going to show you the last four days and you can see the public relations nightmare for carnival is something investors have been feeling. all this coverage is going to build up attention for carnival. cruise loyalists and investors probably long term probably won't be deterred. that's right. it's just going to keep putting cruising or cruises on the front page. but carnival says this will cut into its profits in the first half of the year by about $70 million. the issue is voyage disruptions, repair costs. they're going to have to fix this boat and it's going to mean there's going to be some cancelled cruises in the meantime. 3,000 passengers, though, the money they care about is what they're going to get back. full refund of this cruise, a 15
to 25% discount on a future cruise if they're brave and $500 in cash. of course carnival paying for all the expenses here in the meantime as they have to get them home. they're not home. 3,000 people are still being tugged very slowly to mobile. this is interesting because it was even a bigger disaster last year. remember the costa concordia? 32 people died when that ran aground. so in one year, carnival has had two very terrible public relations blows. it will be 8 to 10 cents off of its earnings. let's talk about a little different kind of business. one of the biggest news impacts of the president's state of the union speech was the minimum wage, raising it to $9. how does that compare to the rest of the world? >> a lot of people who support this are pointing out that, look, the rest of the world already have a higher minimum wage. let's look at some of the them. australia has a much higher minimum wage than the u.s. does. you go around to some of our other competitors. france, for example, has a $12 an hour minimum wage. japan has an $8 dollar minimum
wage. the u.s. is at $7.25. beijing, in china it's not national but it's regional. in beijing, $2.24 an hour. the question here is, though, a lot of small business owners are saying we have to implement obama care, the president's health care plan. we are trying to help low income workers that way. we don't have enough demand. this is going to hurt small business. i want you to listen to one owner we tauklked to yesterday. >> of course it's horrible the way it's going to affect everybody. i'm going to have to lay people off out of my own company. i'm sure every local business owner is probably going to have to do the same thing also. >> i'm not going to be able to have employees. >> everybody wants to make more money, but at the same time the small businesses are suffering. >> you can see small business owners were very upset about this. the business community in general saying this is a bad idea. we have 100 years of economic studies and no real clear indication that this is something that grows the economy. it's just the right thing to do, look at us with the rest of the world. i predict a big fight over the minimum wage coming up.
>> i predict you are correct. thank you, christine. you were just talking about the business side of this cruise ship nightmare in the gulf of mexico. there's also a very human side. just ahead, passengers on that carnival cruise ship back in 40 soon we hope and many families will be there waiting for him. we'll speak with a man whose wife is on board and what she is telling him about the conditions onboard. (phone ringing) good afternoon. chase sapphire. (push button tone) this is stacy from springfield. oh whoa. hello? yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0," i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt
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we have some troubling new details this morning on a breaking story. the girl friend of international sports star oscar pistorius dead after a shooting in his home. bound and gagged. a couple taken hostage by a fugitive in his final hours on the run telling their terrifying story this morning. counting the minutes on board a crippled cruise ship. squalid, smelly, steamy conditions on deck with the end of the ordeal hopefully just hours away. hopefully. welcome back to "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it is thursday morning, february 14th. happy valentine's day. we're going to start with breaking news this morning. a shocking story involving the blade runner, olympic and paralympic track superstar oscar pistorius. an athlete who has inspired millions. his girlfriend, 30-year-old reeva steenkamp, shot and killed in his home in south africa. police now say a 26-year-old man has been charged with murder and will be appearing in court today, but they are not giving out the name.
but we do know oscar pistorius is 26 years old and that he is currently at the police station. police also saying forced entry is not a factor in the investigation. pistorius races with carbon blades because of his birth defect. he was the first double amputee to run in the olympics. he reached the 400 semifinals in the london games just last year. this is a shocking story. >> and there are more details coming in by the hour. we will keep you up to speed on this really shocking story. 32 minutes after the hour. some of the victims who came face-to-face with fugitive ex-cop christopher dorner before he died in a burning cabin, they are speaking out now. dorner may have been hiding for days, for days in an unoccupied resort condo just steps from a police outpost. the unit belonged to karen and jim reynolds. they walked in on dorner and they wound up bound and gagged. >> when he jumped out and hollered "stay calm" karen screamed and turned and started
running and he ran after her. and he caught her about the door -- >> on the staircase. >> on the staircase and brought her back. >> it sounds like he tried to calm you down. >> he did. >> yes, he did. he was talking to us -- >> you could see that big gun sticking up there. >> yeah. he had his gun drawn the whole time. >> so rick also had a close encounter with dorner. he was carjacked. you have to listen to him describe the rogue ex-cop's demeanor during that ordeal. >> well, i felt in danger, you know, as far as knowing what his history was. and that i had a gun pointed at my head. however, he said he didn't want to hurt me and i believed him. he wanted me to get out of my truck and walk up the road with my dog and that's what i did. >> it's almost certain that dorner did die in a burning cabin tuesday during the shootout with police. it could be days, though, before the charred human remains found inside that cabin are positively identified. so at 8:15 eastern on "starting
point" we're going to talk about dorner and the many, many lingering questions about the manhunt. we'll be joined by former los angeles police chief bill bratton. right now the carnival cruise that's been floating lifeless in the gulf of mexico with 4200 people on boulder is slowly chugging its way into an alabama port, thanks to the help of tugboats, four, we understand. passengers describe conditions on board as, frankly, disgusting saying the walls are smeared with sewage, the carpets are soaked with urine. i apologize for these details. and the stench is so bad, people are sleeping out on the decks now. bethany nutt is one of the passengers aboard the carnival triumph. her husband, brent, drove to mobile last night so he could be there when that ship finally arrives today. he joins us now. brent, hi, good morning to you. thank you for being with us. so we spoke to you and you had said that you had not spoken to your wife. have you spoken to her since the last time we talked to you and what is she saying about the
ordeal? >> no, actually we have not heard from anything. we haven't heard from her or any of the other family members, i mean or even carnival. so we're really -- i don't know, we really don't know anything. >> you haven't spoken to anyone from carnival cruise lines, even since you arrived there in mobile? >> no, ma'am. we spoke to carnival, they called the other night after the ceo had his press conference and then they have like a little automated message that they called us and basically told us the same thing that the ceo released. but no, we have not heard from our -- i mean from our family until monday. >> and as you are there this morning, there are no spokes people on the ground therein explaining what's going to happen when that boat does finally arrive? >> no. the only person that we ran into this morning was a coast guard
member at our motel, and he was saying that the coast guard is going to have to enter the ship and that they're sending out people for customs to go ahead and get that all started. that way once the boat does finally dock, they'll be able to get off. >> the carnival president held a press conference yesterday and talked about all of the arrangements that are being made for your wife and all of the other people on board. let's listen to this. >> i think it's very important that i apologize to our guests and to their families that have been affected by this very difficult situation. at carnival, our promise to our guests is to provide a great vacation experience and we try very hard to do that all the time. so it's obvious in this particular case we did not deliver on that promise. >> so i don't know if you know this or not, but carnival ceo attended an nba game on tuesday night to watch the miami heat, a team that he owns, play the
portland trail blazers. there's a daily mail leaked picture. how do you feel about that? how does that make you feel, given the circumstances that your wife is facing? >> well, i mean these people, they make -- i don't know, they make millions and millions of dollars off of all the cruises and everything. so they're going to pay for this one and move on and probably be done with it. i mean i don't think it really, really matters to them. they have lied to everybody the whole time throughout this whole process, so i mean this really, really doesn't really change anything. we kind of know how they are. >> why was your wife on this cruise? was it just a vacation for her? >> it was a -- well, it was a girlfriends cruise. there's a couple hundred women from our area that went onto the cruise and she's on there with my other three sister-in-laws. it was just a -- it was supposed to be like a little bachelorette
party kind of deal but i don't think it turned out all that well. >> and you were saying that they have lied since the very beginning. what do you mean when you say that? >> well, they told us that the conditions and all and everything, that after the fire happened, that everything was fine, everybody was all okay, everybody was being fed. i mean there was water, there was electricity and all. and then later that evening, whenever, that the other ship come in there to bring them food, our spouses, they were able to call us. whenever they called us, i mean you found out the truth, that there was no running water. they had not been fed anything at all i mean up to that point. and that i mean the ship was just nasty. they wasn't really, really doing anything at all for them other than keeping them on the decks. >> all right. well brent nutt, we really appreciate you spending some time with us this morning. we do know there are four
tugboats headed into the port and we certainly hope thaefrg is well with your wife once you are reunited with her. appreciate your time this morning. john, back to you. >> so taking a look at the top trends on cnn.com. if you have tickets to a lady gaga concert, heads up. lady gaga has to cancel the rest of her "born this way" tour. the singer has a torn hip caused by strenuous represent tif movements and she will need surgery. she'll need some strict downtime. fans can get refunds for the cancelled shows starting today. so what is confidence? you have to check this out. a jeopardy teen tournament contestant named leonard cooper going viral with what could be the coolest final jeopardy question ever. look at this. >> on june 6th, 1944, he said "the eyes of the world are upon you." now we go to leonard cooper. he's looking pretty happy. why? did he come up with ike, dwight
david eisenhower? >> no, i didn't. >> you didn't. some guy in orbit, but i just won $75,000. >> you did indeed. >> he said some guy in norm aeng andy. he still had a chance of losing if his opponents got it right. the correct answer, dwight d. eisenhower. >> gutsy kid, right? >> it is a gutsy kid. his hair. that's what i'm staring at. >> fashionable and gutsy. battle lines drawn on capitol hill this morning with president obama's nomination for defense secretary hanging in the balance. we go live to washington where one side is offering the other a hand. that's coming up. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine.
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soledad o'brien joining us with a look ahead on "starting point." >> we're going to talk about this girlfriend of an international sports icon who's been shot and killed inside oscar pistorius' home. we'll have an update on the bizarre story surrounding him. also imagine being tied up by a wanted fugitive. new details about the dramatic ending to the manhunt for christopher dorner. and we'll talk about an ex-girlfriend of dorner's. she said his behavior was very strange when they were dating. we'll also talk to the former l.a. police chief bill bratton. and the nightmare cruise that's stuck in the gulf of mexico. it's almost over for them. will they make it to land today? i think they're about 50 miles offshore. a mother and two young girls on the ship respond to us live about that. and he's a little itty bitty
dog, banana joe will join us live. >> banana joe is coming here? i hope you ask hard questions. don't back off. >> it's all good. looking forward to that. >> don't wimp out against banana joe. republican opponents of chuck hagel refusing to give up the fight. their attempts to block a senate vote on hagel's confirmation have led majority leader harry reid to take the steps necessary to force a vote and end what is now in effect a gop filibuster. this we should note is really fairly unprecedented, especially when you're dealing with national security nominees. athena jones is following developments and is live in our washington bureau. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, john. the key here is senator john mccain. we learned wednesday frp aiom a to mccain that he was reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster the nomination in order to put pressure on the white house to provide more information about the benghazi attack. this is just the latest sign of trouble for hagel. >> the debate on chuck hagel is
not over. >> reporter: another roadblock in chuck hagel's quest to take over at the pentagon. >> we don't have the information we need and i am going to fight the idea of jamming somebody through until we get answers. >> reporter: republican lindsey graham repeating a threat to block the vote until he gets an answer from the white house on whether the president called libyan officials the night of the deadly benghazi attack. this after a sometimes bitter debate in the normally bipartisan senate armed services committ committee. texas republican ted cruz demanded to know more about hagel's speeches. >> we do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups. it is at a mineral vanity to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from saudi arabia, came directly from north korea. >> reporter: angering democrats. >> we are not going to accept
your suggestion and innuendo that there's some conflict of interest here because there is no evidence of a conflict of interest. >> reporter: and prompting this response from fellow republican john mccain. >> and no one on this committee at any time should impugn his character or his integrity. >> hagel, a former republican senator from nebraska, passed the committee, drawing only democratic votes. a decorated vietnam war vet, he's faced trouble from the start. coming under fire from republicans for his past positions seen as too soft on iran and for comments seen as anti-israel. can he overcome these latest hurdles to take the helm at defense? and that's the big question. carl levin has said he thinks that question about just what the president did on the night of the benghazi attack is a fair one. he said he believes the white house will respond to that question before hagel comes up for a vote. of course that's far from certain. administration officials say they're still deliberating whether to provide that information. >> 24 hours of politicking ahead
and vote counting no doubt. thanks very much. 47 minutes past the hour. they are the nation's arm chair warriors. the defense department has created a new medal to honor the military's drone operators and cyber specialists. the distinguished warfare medal, as it's called, will be awarded to personnel who directly and precisely impact military operations far from the battlefield. just ahead, an update on the breaking news we have been reporting all morning. a deadly shooting at the home of olympian oscar pistorius. what police are saying now about the incident when we come back. . roc® retinol. found in roc® retinol correxion deep wrinkle night cream. it's clinically proven to give 10 years back to the look of skin. now for maximum results, the power of roc® retinol is intensified with a serum to create retinol correxion® max. it's proven to be 4x better at smoothing lines and deep wrinkles than professional treatments. roc® retinol correxion max.
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51 minutes past the hour. new this morning, a mega merger between american airlines and u.s. airways will be formally announced just hours from now. the boards of both companies met yesterday and reportedly they did finalize this deal. federal approval is still needed. the new airline would be the largest in the world with a market value of about $10 billion. many analysts predict the merger will result in higher fares because of reduced competition. the illinois state senate is expected to vote today on a measure to legalize same-sex marriage. the measure is expected to pass and illinois governor pat quinn, who is a democrat, has indicated he will sign this. if approved, illinois will be the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage along with the district of columbia. we've been following this breaking story all morning long. a shooting at the home of track
superstar oscar pistorius, known as the blade runner. his model girlfriend was shot and killed at pistorius' home in south africa. joe cutter is here with the bleacher report and has details on this for us. >> reporter: good morning, zoraida. at this point police are still not naming the suspect but they say there is only one suspect who has been charged with murder. police are also saying that pistorius and the deceased were the only ones home at the time of this murder. now, pistorius' girlfriend, former model reeva steenkamp, was found dead, believed to be shot four times. south africa police said there have been previous incidences at the home involving a domestic nature. now, you may recall pistorius made history as the first double amputee to race in the olympics. he was born without a fibula in both legs. he races wearing carbon fiber prosthetics. well, the nba has suspended the orlando magic's turkoglu for using steroids. after the news broke, turkoglu said he was given medication by
a trainer when trying to heal from an injury. what's refreshing about this one is he's taking full responsibility for what goes into his body. well, duke head coach mike krzyzewski got what he was asking for for his birthday, a win over his biggest rival, north carolina. unc hung with second ranked duke for most of the game until seth curry and mason plumlee got hot in the final minutes. duke won by five, 73-68. the blue devils have won six straight games and have beaten north carolina six out of the last eight times. this is a good one to end on. a rookie on the ladies european tour was bitten by a black widow spider midround in australia. so instead of quitting the round, daniellea holmquist used a golf tee to dig out the venom out of her ankle. she then squeezed the venom from her ankle and finished the round. and they say hockey players are tough guys. for all your entertaining sports
news go to bleacherreport.com. when you've got a tee, you've got to use it, right? >> oh, my goodness. >> she used her golf tee to dig the black widow venom out of her leg? >> unbelievable! that is a rock star right there. >> the toughest athlete in the world. >> i would have walked off. "early start" continues right after the break.
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bottles. if you want one, it will cost you a $25 donation. i think that is brilliant. >> it is. it's a great way to turn that into a winning moment. >> and make some money to boot. >> that's "early start." >> "starting point with soledad o'brien starts right now. welcome, everybody. new overnight, a major jolt to the sports world. olympian and double amputee oscar pistorius' girlfriend has been shot and killed in pistorius' home. we're live with developing details this morning. then the cruise from hell is almost over. we've got live reports from the skytraking the ship's slow progress as it makes its way to shore. new information in the case of accused killer christopher dorner. the hostages he reportedly tied up at gunpoint speaking out overnight for the first time. and a massive airline merger this morning. u.s. airways and american airlines will join forces to create the world's largest